UK Government Will Cut Taxes, Invest in Programs to Boost Economy Amid Looming Economic Recession

Under the leadership of newly-installed Prime Minister Liz Truss, the United Kingdom government presented its strategy to address the nation’s failing economic condition. In spite of the numerous obstacles that individuals and companies currently confront, the program’s tax cuts and investment incentives may help to boost economic development.

Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng gave the House of Commons a briefing on the steps the incoming administration will follow. In addition, Kwarteng established a 2.5% rate of economic development over the months ahead, indicating that authorities aimed to execute “a new strategy for a new period centered on growth.

“We believe high taxes reduce incentives to work, deter investment and hinder enterprise,” Kwarteng stated.

The U.K. Government plans were made known and included the following:

  • The U.K. government revealed a list of their plans which include:
  • Cancellation of a planned rise in corporation tax to 25%, keeping it at 19%, the lowest rate in the G-20.
  • A reversal in the recent 1.25% rise in National Insurance contributions — a tax on income.
  • A reduction in the basic rate of income tax from 20 pence to 19 pence.
  • Scrapping of the 45% tax paid on incomes over £150,000 ($166,770), taking the top rate to 40%.
  • Significant cuts to stamp duty, a tax paid on home purchases.
  • A network of “investment zones” around the U.K. where businesses will be offered tax cuts, liberalized planning rules and a reduction in regulatory obstacles.
  • A claim-back scheme for sales taxes paid by tourists.
  • Scrapping of an increase in tax rates on various alcohols.
  • Scrapping of a cap on bankers’ bonuses.

In four to five years, according to the latest forecast, the tax cuts will total £45 billion.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies director Paul Johnson said, “It’s half a century since we’ve seen tax cuts announced on this scale.”

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The currency’s drop marked a further economic setback for the U.K. to a 37-year low versus the U.S. dollar. Meanwhile, according to the Bank of England, the third quarter of 2022 will probably see a recession in the nation’s economy. Additionally, a 50 basis point rise in interest rates was announced at the same time.

Not the best solution

The U.K. government’s proposal could end up causing long-term treasury challenges. Since then, the government has said it will cover businesses’ and consumers’ energy bills, which might pressure it to take on additional foreign debt. The U.K. needs to spend more than £100 billion in only two years.

The government spent more money than expected in the previous month. For instance, the government borrowed £11.8 billion in August, which is rather more than anticipated. Government borrowing was £6.5 billion lower in the same month last year.

The U.K. has the second-lowest debt-to-GDP ratio among the G7 countries, according to Minister Kwarteng. However, in order to significantly lower the nation’s debt, the government needs to develop effective plans.

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The proposal had seismic effects

The initiative by Truss was labeled “seismic” by Chris Sanger, the director of tax policy.

“The reversal of the decision to deny VAT rebates for travelers leaving the U.K., only implemented on leaving the E.U., and the introduction of a new super-powered special economic zone, reinforce the message that the U.K. wants to attract foreign direct investment and travelers. In essence, the government is doubling down on growth, providing tax cuts across the board,” the director said.

Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, Shevaun Havilland, expressed enthusiasm for the initiative. However, the plans must guarantee growth and build an infrastructure that facilitates company expansion for this to be effective.

“The introduction of investment zones also has the potential to finally deliver on the Government’s long-standing promise to level up, if the scheme is truly UK-wide.”

Havilland does, however, issue a warning, urging the government to draw lessons from the past and calibrate the plans so that the investment zones are accurate from the onset. If the program is poorly designed and implemented, it will merely inhibit new economic activity.

Source: CNBC

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